BY ANDREW MCSTEEN
Roy Hodgson recorded an unwanted statistic last night as he watched his Crystal Palace side lose their sixth straight Premier League game under his watch, going down 2-0 against Manchester United at Selhurst Park.
The result means it is the worst run of form the Croydon-born manager has had in the Premier League and he told the South London Press that all he could do after the match was say sorry to his players with VAR working against the Eagles, denying an equalising goal, and failing to award an early penalty.
“All I can say to players after the game was how pleased I was with their performance and how sorry I am for them that they’ve got nothing to show for it,” he said. “But they mustn’t be despondent because, really and truly, in our current situation where we are wounded to some extent, I don’t think it was possible to go out and give a better performance against a top team like Manchester United and Chelsea than we have done.
“It was a fantastic run of Wilf’s to provoke the situation, which could so easily have been a penalty, and I thought it was an excellent movement, and an excellent piece of football, that allowed us to – what we thought – get an equaliser in the game, but which was cancelled out by VAR.”
The run of defeats means Palace cannot now finish in the top half of the table or beat their record of 49 points in the 20-team league, which was equalled last season by Hodgson’s side, with the manger left wondering how much more his squad can give to avoid defeat.
“The unfortunate thing is that the scoreline hasn’t given us the chance to get some points on the board but I must say there have been many matches in the past against top teams both here (at Selhurst) and away where we haven’t played anywhere near as well and been anywhere as dominant as we were in long periods in the game and yet we’ve come away winning.
“It’s hard to separate points from performances because, unfortunately, football matches are often judged purely on that matter: Are you winning? You’re good. Are you losing? You’re bad.
“As a football coach you have to be very careful to not fall into that trap and to realise sometimes you can be lucky and get a result when you don’t deserve it. And night’s like tonight, the same as last time here against Chelsea, I find myself talking about a result which is a bad one but one I truly believe we didn’t deserve.”
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